Kyle Busch was the fastest driver in Saturday’s final practice for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, turning a speed of 188.640 mph.
Unfortunately, Busch wrecked after his first two practice laps and will be forced to start Sunday’s race from the back of the 43-car field.
Busch, who qualified seventh Thursday, did manage to put 19 additional laps in his backup car, but none of those laps came close to his earlier fast lap.
Ironically, Busch wrecked Thursday in his Nationwide Series car, received permission to repair it back at Joe Gibbs Racing’s headquarters in nearby Huntersville, N.C., and then came out earlier Saturday to qualify No. 1 for that afternoon’s History 300.
Joey Logano was right behind Busch on the Sprint Cup speed charts, clocking in at 188.265 mph.
And Danica Patrick recorded yet another impressive run, ranking third-fastest at 187.846 mph.
Rounding out the top five were Greg Biffle (187.663) and 600 pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson (187.656).
Sixth- through 10th-fastest were Kevin Harvick (187.428), Carl Edwards 9187.422), Martin Truex Jr. (187.337), Clint Bowyer (187.071) and Ryan Newman (186.987).
Of note about the top 10 fastest: six have yet to win a race thus far in 2014 (Patrick, Biffle, Johnson, Truex, Bowyer and Newman).
Other highlights from Happy Hour:
* Current points leader Jeff Gordon did not practice due to back spasms that forced him run just 11 laps in the day’s earlier session. Gordon said he plans on racing Sunday, but will have Nationwide Series driver Regan Smith on standby, just in case.
* Also not taking part in the final practice session were Joe Nemechek and Reed Sorenson, apparently to preserve their equipment for NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race of the season.
* Kurt Busch, who will attempt to complete the “Double” on Sunday – racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 – saw a nice bump up in speed from the morning session at 186.245 mph.
* Blake Koch was the slowest of the 40 drivers that took to the track at 180.717 mph.
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